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No man is an island, right? Could you imagine this life all by yourself? Often I need a shoulder, and at other times, someone else needs mine. That’s what friendship is for.

Friendship isn’t determined by how long you’ve known someone, nor their race, culture or mutual acquaintances. As with any relationship, it’s all about connection, and communication is key to nurturing that. This often leads to lifelong friendships, that effortlessly stand the test of time and distance.

It seems that there’s a day to celebrate almost everything these days, but reading about the history behind Friendship Day really resonated with recent life experiences. Before I elaborate, here’s a brief recap on the origins behind this day.

History and Significance

Friendship Day was introduced by Hallmark cards in the 1930’s, but fizzled out in the mid 1940’s in the US as it was viewed as a money making endeavour. However, in 1958, the World Friendship Crusade, an organization that campaigns to foster a culture of peace through friendship, proposed July 30th to be World Friendship Day. Fast forward to 2011, the UN General Assembly declared July 30th as the International Day of Friendship.

The rationale behind this declaration was to inspire a shared spirit of human solidarity between people, countries and cultures in light of threats to world peace, security, development and social harmony from challenges such as violence, poverty and human rights abuse.

Then and Now

Taking inspiration from this, I’ve found that nurturing friendships with women around the world can be really special and a great way to learn about and experience different cultures. This especially rings home to me now, being part of a showroom in Atlanta, consisting of women designer artisans from around the world. Travelling for business across the other side of the world on a regular basis may sound glamorous, but it’s challenging, tiring and involves a lot of hard work. But knowing that I’m going to reunite with ladies that were once colleagues and have now become dear friends has completely transformed the experience for me.

Who do you call when you have news (good or bad)? A girlfriend. Women support and stick by each other during all phases of their lives. Having a tribe of women sharing similar outlooks and who appreciate and support you, no matter what, can help immensely in the smooth transition of whatever phase of life you’re in.

Keep an open mind – expand your tribe

If you’re travelling this summer, immersing yourself in the culture of the native people you interact with and places you visit is one of the best ways to make the most of your holiday… and you never know, you may even meet some interesting people who could become lifelong friends.

But communication is key and can make all the difference in your experience of the destination. Just a few basic words such as “hello”, “thank you”, and “excuse me” can make a big difference to how people interact with you.

Here’s how to say these words in a few different languages, with a special focus within Africa. For good measure, we’ve included some jewellery related terms which will always come in handy when you’re out shopping. And when people complement you on yours, at least you can understand what they’re saying!

Hello

Hujambo – Swahili

Ni Hao – Chinese

Bonjour – French

Sawubona (I see you) – Zulu

Pl o – Yoruba

Ciao (hello and goodbye) – Italian

 

Thank You

Weebale – Luganda

Asante – Swahili

Hatur nuhun – Sundanese

Ngiyabonga – Zulu

Mahadsanid – Somali

Je vous remercie – French

Danke – German

Excuse me

Owange – Luganda

Samahani – Swahili

Iga dhaaf – Somali

Hapunten – Sudanese

Uxolo – Zulu

Entschuldigen Sie mich – German

Excusez-moi – French

 

How much is it?

malini lokhu? – Zulu

Mmekka Ssente? – Luganda

ni nini bei? – Swahili

sabaraha éta? – Sundanese

kini owo naa? – Yoruba

combien ça coûte? – French

waa imisa? – Somali

Wie viel kostet das? – German

quanto costa? – Italian

 

Beads

Ubuhlalu – Zulu

Shanga – Swahili

Boodh – Somali

Manik – Sundanese

Perles – French

Perlen – German

 

Necklace

Urunigi / umukufi– Kinyarwanda

Silsilad – Somali

Kongkorong – Sundanese

Mkufu – Swahili

Umgexo – Zulu

Halskette – German

Collier – French

 

 

Earrings

Namacici – Zulu

Hereni – Swahili

Anting – Sundanese

Hilqadaha – Somali

Des boucles d’oreilles – French

Ohrringe – German

 

What time is it?

Ni saa ngapi? – Swahili

Che ore sono? – Italian

Sawa mmeka? – Luganda

Quid temporem est? – Latin

Wie spät ist es? – German

Jam sabaraha ieu? – Sundanese

Quelle heure est-il? – French

Waqtigee ayay tahay? – Somali

 

Jewellery       

Ubucwebe – Zulu

Vito – Swahili

Dahab – Somali

Iyebiye – Yoruba

Jewellery – Sundanese

Schmuck – German

 

Nice to meet you!

Sidai Kinotote! – Maasai

Kulan wanaagsan! – Somali

Schön dich zu treffen! – German

Inu mi dun lati pade yin! – Yoruba

Ngijabulela ukukwazi! – Zulu

Mzuri ya kukutana nawe! – Swahili

Ravi de vous rencontrer! – French

Resep pendak sareng anjeun! – Sundanese